Fix The Mountbatten Centre Floodlights Now!
Delays to Routine Repairs Threaten Portsmouth Olympic Legacy
4 years ago, cyclist Dani King won a Gold Medal at the London Olympics and soon after she returned to The Mountbatten Centre Velodrome, where she used to train, to show young cyclists her new Gold Medal, and so inspire the next generation. The immediate result was a huge uptake in participation from local youngsters - at least one of which is currently European Champion and could be in the mix for Tokyo in 2020.
Whatever happens in Rio though, 100’s of volunteer hours that have gone into re-establishing cycling at the Mountbatten Centre this year are in danger of being wasted...
Instead of a works order being issued for routine maintenance / ‘like for like’ repairs to the velodrome / athletics track flood lights, it is our understanding that the order has been placed on hold whilst possible upgrades are considered - it would seem without any real understanding of the impact that any further delay will have on the users and the local community. i.e.:
- £80k that has been invested in new perimeter fencing for a facility that can only now be used in daylight hours, and so revenue streams from peak usage during weekday evenings will be lost to the Mountbatten Centre
- Sports clubs will be denied the chance to fully capitalise on the increased interest generated from the Olympics that are currently underway, and so will not be able to maxise their engagement with the local community at grass roots level
- Opportunities for local residents to use the cycling and athetics facilities are restricted to daylight hours
- Young cyclists will be especially affected – they need a traffic free environment - where else will they go to ride track bikes, which are velodrome specific?
- Talented sportsmen and women are having their development interrupted at a crucial stage in their careers because they cannot train locally
We Beleive That:
- Several months have passed since necassary repairs were identified and so there has been sufficient time to consider the possibility of performing an upgrade during the Summer Months, when the need for floodlights and any subsequent disruption would have been minimal
It is now clear that the process and parties that have allowed this situation to occur, cannot be relied upon to be part of the solution without additional leadership
- Someone needs to lead and give direction on a temporary solution while any long term upgrades are considered and funding arranged, then afterwards ensure that this situation cannot be allowed to happen again.
- Ultimately PCC must have overall responsibility because they awarded the operating license on behalf of council tax payers and users, and so have a duty of care to ensure best balance of value and levels of service that are being provided
- The best value solution for council tax payers and facility users is to undertake any planned maintenance items that have been identifed as having an immediate priority, on a 'like for like' basis right now, without further delay, so that sports clubs can maximise participation and usage during the peak times, i.e. during the evening, throughout the year - this will also maximise revenue from facility hire charges
- By signing this petition, you will be helping us to persuade key stakeholders to take prompt action to reinstate the velodrome and athletics track floodlights as a matter of urgency
- Just Fix The Lights!
- Portsmouth City Council
Please undertake any necessary repairs to reinstate the floodlights at the Mountbatten Centre Velodrome & Athletics Track without further delay. If there is a dispute about who is responsible for the repairs, an interim solution is needed - i.e. temporary lights. Sessions for local athletes and cyclists of all ages are already being affected because session times are being shortened as the nights are drawing in. We must be able to continue to use the facility after dark throught the year, not least to maximise the value of the recent £80k investment for the new fence and capitalise on increased interest from the local community during and after the Olympics.
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